Case study: cheaper fuel bills for council tenants in Lichfield

For many elderly council tenants in Cannock Chase, energy costs are a constant pressure. For some, it’s a decision between turning the heating on or eating three meals a day.

Chase Community Solar don’t think it should be like this - in Cannock Chase or anywhere else for that matter. So they’re trailblazing a solution.

Working with Cannock Chase District Council they put solar PV on 314 council owned bungalows in a scheme that's the first of its kind in the UK. Their project gives investors a fair return on their money, reduces bills by around £150 a year for elderly council tenants, cuts carbon AND generates a small community fund for local environmental projects. In an area with high levels of fuel poverty, it's sorely needed and hugely appreciated.

After raising £750,000, work finished on their 314th bungalow install this September. The response from tenants has been more than worth the huge numbers of volunteers hours that have been ploughed into the project. 

“With the panels now I don’t have to sit here constantly thinking that we should turn everything off. We’ve saved over a third of our electricity bill [...]. It’s amazing and we’ve got a bit more money to spend on the grandchildren now.”
— Pat Astbury, tenant
“The benefits that can come out of putting a little money in in the first place are huge - they get multiplied. I just think it’s really sad that we’ve got something that really works for communities and the government want to take it away.”
— Kate Sadler, Chase Community Solar volunteer

Photos: Chase Community Solar